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Westchester Today The Origin of the Blow Pop October 2018

The following article is reprinted from the October 2014 WCDS newsletter. We hope families will enjoy the story of the origin of the Blow Pops that are now a regular sight at Wildcat athletic events. If fans ever find themselves in need of a Blow Pop, feel free to visit Coach Schwartz or a member of the Booster Club! Blow Pops, Role Models, and the Community of Fans

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by Cobb Atkinson I have a confession to make: In the heat of competition, when the game is on the line and the Wildcats are fighting for a win, I am sometimes not at my best. No matter the cause - an unfortunate turn of events, a less-thansportsmanlike play, or a questionable call by an official - sometimes I find myself caught up in the moment and can be prone to say less than constructive, positive, or edifying things. More than perhaps any other setting, sporting events challenge my resolve to be a positive, supportive, and constructive adult in our school community.

Ambitious goals. Big rewards. We need you!

250 donors. One week. $50,000 at stake. Will you help us? Our anonymous donor is challenging Wildcat Nation to secure 250 Annual Fund commitments during this year’s Spirit Week (October 8 - 12). As long as donors sustain their level of giving from last year (or increase!), the gift/pledge will count. Didn’t make a gift last year? Then your Annual Fund commitment of any amount will count. When we achieve our goal of 250 commitments, we will be rewarded with $50,000! 1 Week 250 Donors = $50,000 Let’s do this, Wildcat Nation!

For some reason, we will shout things from the stands during the game that we would never say in any other setting. Sometimes athletic competition can change for the worse how we speak to one another, to our children, to guests from other schools who come to our campus to cheer on their children, and (perhaps most easily) to the men and women who take the field to serve as officials. To put this in the terms highlighted by the WCDS Code of Conduct, in the heat of the battle, we seem to give ourselves permission to speak (perhaps “shout”) comments that are less than positive, respectful, or forgiving; as I mentioned above, in these moments we are not doing our “best.” We could spend much more time than I intend to in this essay discussing this trend in our larger national and international sports cultures; indeed, we need not look far for examples of sports fans run amuck in their zeal to cheer their teams to victory. As is so often the case, however, our work with children here at WCDS calls upon us all to be counter-cultural, electing to swim against the mainstream of contemporary culture when this prevailing current runs at odds with the important lessons we are all working to teach here at school.

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Westchester Today

Grandparents Day WCDS will welcome grandparents to campus on Friday, Oct. 19. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Finch Center, with the program running from 9:00 - 11:30. All students will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. (no lunch).

October 2018 2

Links and Announcements > Arts Calendar

Meet Your Wildcats

> Athletics Calendar

Name: Devin McLemore

> Campus Calendar

> Lunch Menu ************************************************** WAPA Opportunities Abound WAPA encourages all parents to get involved by signing up to volunteer for school activities, as well as to participate in programs from which WCDS earns free cash (see links below). Thank you! > Amazon Smile

Title: Advancement Assistant, Head Baseball Coach Family: Mother, Jennifer; Father, Buck; Sister, Megan What was your favorite subject in school? I enjoyed ALMOST all the math classes I took throughout my schooling. What book are you reading? The 10 Commandments of Winning Teammates

> BoxTops for Education

Name of the last movie you watched: The Farthest: Voyager in Space

> Harris Teeter VIC Card

Favorite Restaurant: Biscuitville

> Publix

Dream Vacation: I would really love to go to Dubai.

> Blue/White Day Volunteers > Grandparents Day Volunteers > Duty-Free Lunch Volunteers > Teacher Snacks Sign-Up

Something most people don’t know about you: I had open heart surgery when I was five years old. Favorite thing about Westchester: The family atmosphere and the overall positivity that is spread on a daily basis.


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Westchester Today October 2018

In short, we should be different here. When visiting fans leave our campus after a game, they should leave impressed by how different our fans are from other fans and how different our student-athletes are from those at other schools. Most importantly, we should stand apart from the larger, less positive cultural realities surrounding athletics so that we can teach our children what it looks like and sounds like when adults live out with intention the values that we as a school family hold dear.

Recently, I saw a wonderful manifestation of our school family’s deep commitment to this goal and to the work we undertake to build one another up in positive ways. A resourceful parent, in a generous effort to help remind all of us of the need to be self-conscious and intentional as we cheered for our team, brought a box of Blow Pops to the game and shared them with all of us parents as a means to remind us all to think about what we say before we say it. We even began to redirect our frustrations in more healthy ways, calling for additional Blow Pops to be

Our Newest Wildcat!

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I have come to understand, both as an educator and as a parent, that children learn far, far more from watching what we do than from listening to what we tell them to do. As adult role models, the choices that we make inevitably will become powerful lessons for them, for good or for ill, about how adults are supposed to behave - how we deal with conflict, address disagreements, confront challenges, and, yes, even how we react to a bad call. Our commitment to constructive, positive, and respectful cheering is more than just the right thing to do; it is a foundational step in our work to teach our children how to live well. Above, Booster Club leaders Avery and Colin Merritt (left), and Emilee and Brack Brigman with a bevy of blow pops at a recent soccer game. Below, Booster volunteer Chris Ryker distributes blow pops to the crowd.

passed around in the wake of a challenging moment, or shouting, “That’s a Blow Pop,” if a call didn’t go our way. Coming as this did on the heels of a gentle email reminder from our coach, this effort helped all of us to remember to cheer positively for our team, encourage the opposing players, support the officials, and create the right kind of community in the stands. In short, they helped us to

Congratulations, Mr. Hughes!

our

best.

So when the game is on the line and the clock is ticking down, I encourage all of us to be intentional fans this year, filled with passion for our Wildcats, loud and proud in our support for our student-athletes, and always attentive to the work of edification, the building up of our school and of one another.

Save Date! the

Lily Grace Hughes, daughter of John and Amy Born Sept. 11 at 2:43 p.m. 7 lb. 5.5 oz. , 21 inches

be

12/15/18

Gift of Giving Holiday Bash in support of Chuck’s Fund

A formal invitation with complete details is coming soon.


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September Scrapbook Students helped Mr. Atkinson celebrate a big birthday (above, left), participated in lots of spirit days, such as black out (above, right), and honored Hometown Heroes during our first C.A.R.E.S. Crews event (below). For daily updates on campus events, be sure to follow us on social media!

Westchester Country Day is a college preparatory school that seeks to educate each child toward moral, academic, artistic, and athletic excellence in a nurturing, family environment where students, teachers, and parents support one another. By respecting the student and honoring learning, Westchester aims to cultivate informed citizens who are ready for a rapidly changing world and to graduate students who view the pursuit and wise use of knowledge as a lifelong joy.

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